According to a report by The Intercept released this Sunday, sensitive weapons and equipment have been mysteriously stolen from US military bases in Iraq and Syria.
“Military investigations launched earlier this year found that multiple sensitive weapons and equipment — including guided missile launch systems as well as drones — have been stolen in Iraq and Syria. This follows hundreds of thousands of dollars in military gear that were purloined from US troops in Iraq and Syria between 2020 and 2022,” The intercept said in its report released this Sunday evening. Justifying the necessity of the existence of US military bases in Iraq and Syria, US officials claim that the bases are needed to carry out counter missions against the ISIS terrorist group.
Discarding such narratives, however, Russian and Syrian officials have said it many times that American forces are lying to the world and that they do nothing in Iraq and Syria but to support ISIS and use it to target the Syrian army with the aim of weakening the Syrian government under the rule of Bashar Al-Asad.
The fact is that as a few numbers of US official have acknowledged, the US military bases in these two Arab countries are needed to maintain the US occupation of large swathes of northeastern Syria, where most of the country’s oil lies, which gives Washington leverage against the Syrian government and hinders reconstruction following more than a decade of civil war.
What and how much has been stolen?
As the Sunday report by The Intercept revealed, military investigators were notified back in February this year that 13 commercial drones were stolen from a US facility in Erbil, Iraq. Later investigations, however, identified no suspects, and no leads are mentioned in the file as more than nine months have passed.
A separate investigation by the US intelligence agencies also discovered that $480,000 worth of multiple sensitive weapons and equipment including “targeting sight and launcher units for Javelin missiles” were stolen at or en route to Forward Operating Base Union III in Baghdad, Iraq.
This theft story in US military bases in Iraq and Syria is not new. Earlier this year, The Intercept revealed at least four significant thefts and one loss of US weapons and equipment in Iraq and Syria from 2020 to 2022, including 40mm high-explosive grenades, armor-piercing rounds, specialized field artillery tools and equipment, and unspecified “weapons systems.” Two of the incidents took place at bases in Syria, and three were in Iraq.
International bodies confirm US support for ISIS
While Washington categorically denies the allegations that it is indeed a pro-ISIS party in the Syrian war and has supported the terrorist group financially and militarily, international organizations believe otherwise.
Amnesty International and Conflict Armament Research, for example, have issued reports suggesting that a substantial portion of the weapons used by ISIS during the Syria war between 2014 and 2018 were either US-made or US-purchased.
To make matters even more embarrassing for Washington, the US military have not yet been able to account for $715.8 million of military equipment distributed in 2017 and 2018 to the Syrian army to fight ISIS yet ending up reaching the terrorist group to kill Syrian people.